Commonwealth Games 2022: Matthew Ramsden thankful for Birmingham berth after Tokyo Olympics heartbreak
A year after extinguishing the fires of self-doubt in the wake of Olympic heartbreak, Matthew Ramsden has a burning desire to make up for lost time in Birmingham.
The Rockingham middle distance runner is off to the Commonwealth Games after earning a call-up to Australia’s track and field team for the 1500m and the 5000m.
Ramsden heartbreakingly missed out on a spot on the Tokyo team despite running a 1500m qualifying time in the lead up due to Australia’s abundance of talent in the middle distances, with Oliver Hoare, Stewart McSweyn and Jye Edwards selected instead.
Ramsden admitted he had asked some tough questions of himself in the aftermath of his Olympic anguish, but was eager to seize his fresh chance to make an impression.
“It’s good for me to be back in the action and not being on the sidelines, I get to prove myself again outdoors in a national team. I think of it as a huge opportunity,” he said.
“After missing Tokyo, you start to kind of question things that you’re doing and thinking ‘am I good enough’? And then it takes a lot of self belief to prove to yourself you are good enough.
“When you finally get picked on these teams, you’ve got to turn up so that you keep getting selected and it’s not doubt in the selectors’ mind for the next time they might have to choose between you and someone else.”
After Craig Mottram carried the torch for Australian middle-distance runners for years, McSweyn and Hoare reached the Olympic 1500m final last year and Hoare just broke the national record for the mile. Ramsden said he liked the competition.
“It’s good in the sense that it definitely will make me a better athlete in the long run, because I’m more competitive with these guys,” he said.
“If you’re just the top dog, there’s less guys pressing you to make teams, but if you’re the best by a long margin, which is kind of the way Craig Mottram was, it allows you to kind of set the pace of your own train.”
The Commonwealth Games will be immediately preceded by the World Championships in Oregon and Ramsden, who will head to San Diego for altitude training ahead of the championships, said the limited time between the two events was perfect.
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